This week I have again decided to take yet another break from the Farm to Shelves series (my apologies to those trying to duplicate our recipe) because I have an even BETTER story than my last. It’s a whirlwind tale of rock stars, penthouse parties and salesmanship (minus the rock stars and penthouse). Also, I realize I did not submit a post last week which was due to me living the events of which I am about to tell you. It’s kind of a long story so I’ll split it into two parts so you simpletons can give each chapter your full attention. Once again it all started with a note…
“You know we have email now, right?” I said, standing in Paul’s doorway with yet another crayon drawn note in my hand.
“Yeah, I mean duh. It’s just… quicker to write you notes.” I eyed the plug to Paul’s computer as it dangled idly off the side of his desk.
“So what is it you need, boss?” I said, stepping into his office and leaning against the wall.
“I just got the word from up top. They’re impressed with what you did at FRESH.”
“It’s hard to blame them”, I scoffed as I breathed on an apple and wiped it against my shirt.
“Well I just got off the phone with ‘em and they’ve decided that they’re calling you up. To the big leagues.”
The apple fell from my hands and I stood up straight off the wall. “The big leagues?! But I’ve only done one demo. I mean I crushed it, granted, but still! Are you sure they meant me?”
“Positive. We’re sending you to Chicago to assist me in a product show. Pack your stuff. We head out Saturday.” He replied, sitting back in his chair.
I turned and began to walk out when Paul’s voice stopped me in the doorway.
“Hey kid” I turned back as Paul tossed a black Simply 7 collared shirt in my direction. It drifted gracefully through the air and landed on my shoulder. “Welcome to the big Show.” We exchanged a long, dramatic stare before he turned back to his blank monitor.
So on the morning of June 11th, after hours of nervous vomiting and a couple run-throughs of my lucky tai-bo exercises, I suited up and headed for the expo. We pulled into a parking garage and made our way into McCormick Place convention center, a building so big that the first thing I thought upon entering was “If I could sneak in later tonight, I would so ride go-carts in here”.
Because I’m a child.
But I pushed those awesome thoughts out of my head and focused. This was what I had been waiting for: a shot at the big time. And I’d be damned if late night go-karts fantasies were going to screw that up. We stepped out onto the floor and I almost keeled over from absolute sensory overload. There were seemingly endless rows of booths from different food companies, the sound of their attempts to sell their brands to passersby hit me like a cacophonous tsunami, and the smell of all of the foodstuffs they were handing out was enough to end even the most meaningful hunger strikes. A single tear slid down my cheek as I whispered under my breath, “I’m home.”